Cumberland County Schools have implemented a new GPS-enabled app allowing parents to track the location of their child’s school bus.
The school district first implemented GPS systems on school buses nearly 10 years ago, said Director of Transportation Earnest Gillespie.
Executive Director of Transportation Kristi Harden, who leads the department, said, “The information that is provided to that app is generated from that GPS.”
The Here Comes the Bus app will be available starting this school year, she said.
Parents can track their child's bus by entering the district's code, 75554, through the website herecomesthebus.com or by downloading the app in Spanish or English on any Apple or Android device via the App Store or Google Play.
“It’s an app that parents and schools can use. It’s predominantly designed for parents, where they can put in the information of their child," Area Supervisor Jeb Bush said. "They’ll be able to go in and track the bus specifically to their stop."
Although the app is compatible with each GPS system on each school bus, parents can only view the bus location for their own child, said Gillespie.
“It is just another option that will be available to parents and that’ll just help us reach and serve the communities around us,” Harden said.
The GPS contract, including the app, cost the school district about $290,000, said Gillespie.
Nearly 450 Cumberland County Schools buses are on the road every day, Harden said.
Location is not the only data the transportation department tracks through each bus’s GPS system.
“We get a lot of data, it’s not just the location data that we get from the bus,” said Gillespie.
The GPS system on each bus tracks work hours, speed, bus malfunctions, video recording malfunctions, usage of bus warnings and stop signs, he said.
“We know how fast the bus is going. If the bus is speeding, we get an alert,” said Gillespie. “Each of the buses have cameras on them, so if there are any malfunctions, we get alerts.”
The app allows the transportation department to be as efficient as possible, he said. Visit Cumberland County Schools website, ccs.k12.nc.us/ccs, for more information.
Health and education writer Ariana-Jasmine Castrellon can be reached at email@example.com or 910-486-3561.
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This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Cumberland County Schools unveils Here Comes the Bus app for parents